These three individuals are among this year’s recipients of career achievement awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters: playwright Adrienne Kennedy, actor-playwright-educator Anna Deavere Smith and writer and essayist Phillip Lopate.
In honor of his contribution to American literature, Lopate, 78, won the $100,000 Christopher Lightfoot Walker Award.
As well as his essay collections Bachelorhood and Against Joie de Vivre, he has also written The novels, The Rug Merchant and Confessions of Summer.
As well as writing essays and novels, he has edited anthologies such as “Writing New York” and “The Art of the Personal Essay.”
In a statement released Tuesday, the academy acknowledged that Kennedy had been awarded its Gold Model for Drama. Kennedy who is in his nineties is known for such plays as “Funnyhouse of a Negro” and “Sleep Deprivation Drama.”
A recipient of the Medal for Spoken Language, Smith, 71, has performed stupendously one-man stage shows such as “Fires in the Mirror” and has been a cast member of “The West Wing” and “Nurse Jackie.”
Achieving Distinguished Service to the Arts is an honor that has been given to Edwin Frank, 61, a poet, essayist and founder of the publishing imprint New York Review Books, which publishes literature in translation from the past and present.
Kari Walker, 52, has bee awarded a Gold Medal for Graphic Art for her silhouettes that have been showcased around the world her silhouttes steal the show of myriads of masses globally.